Chicago -- The Joliet Catholic Diocese has revealed that it has paid more than $2.6 million to people who claim they were sexually abused by priests.
The disclosure came in a five-page letter from Bishop Joseph Imesch (pictured) distributed to the diocese's 132 parishes and missions over the weekend.
The letter says the diocese has paid about $1.7 million and its insurance companies have paid about $936,000 to settle claims since 1983.
The diocese's communications director, John Cullen, said the payouts involve 13 cases.
Imesch also says in the letter that the diocese will no longer hold anyone to confidentiality agreements.